HTC has released the HTC Mini, a new phone for the Chinese market. Why are we discussing it here, then? Well, the idea is so insane that it deserves your attention. You see, the Mini isn’t a standalone phone, it’s a phone which only works with another phone – in this case the HTC Butterfly.
You may remember the Butterfly – also known as the J Butterfly in Japan and the Droid DNA in America - as one of the new breed of tablet/smartphone hybrids with a 5-inch, Full HD display. It’s large size, according to HTC, makes it less likely to be fished out of your pocket or bag when a call comes in and not, in case you were wondering, because you look like a berk holding it up to your ear.
The HTC Mini solves this problem by using NFC to connect with the Butterfly, then acting as a small phone, with which you can make and receive calls, see incoming messages, check calendar notifications and see a list of any missed calls, while the Butterfly stays safely out of sight. It won’t run any apps and it only has a monochrome screen, so it’s like owning a feature phone again.
It’s difficult to know where to start with the HTC Mini. Picture the scene: You’ve just paid a lot of money for a top-of-the-range smartphone, a single device which does absolutely everything you could want, thus negating the need to carry multiple devices such as a camera, music player and phone. So the first thing you do is go and buy a second, lesser device to carry about which replicates its core functionality.
At the moment, this bizarre accessory has only been announced for China, but there’s a chance it’ll see a wider release in the future, particularly if the rumoured HTC M7 turns out to be a global flagship phone.